Vapes are rising in popularity and as sales soar, they present a triple threat to the environment: plastic waste, electronic waste and hazardous waste.
The harm cigarette waste does to the environment has been understood for some time. Surveys of littering behaviour have found that 65% of smokers discard cigarette butts improperly – resulting in 4.5 trillion cigarettes being discarded in the environment every year.
The Australian Medical Association has supported a proposed overhaul to vaping laws, which would put an end to the retail sale of vapes in Australia and help people kick the dangerous and addictive habit.
Under reforms proposed by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), the importation, manufacture and sale of vaping products — regardless of nicotine content — would be banned outside of therapeutic use prescribed by a doctor and dispensed by a pharmacist.
On 29 August 2023, the Therapeutic Goods Administration executed multiple warrants on storage units and residences in Brisbane and seized over 40,000 vaping products with an estimated street value of over $1.2 million.
This was part of a major crime investigation into money laundering, illicit tobacco and nicotine vaping products involving the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission- external site, Queensland Police, Queensland Health, Australian Border Force and the Australian Taxation Office.
More than 3.5 million Australians aged 14 and older smoke or vape according to new research, with rates increasing among younger people.
Research prepared for the Australian Health Department by Cancer Victoria looked at the number of people vaping and smoking between January 2018 to March 2023.